​News & Announcements

MPTF Kicks Off the “Every Member Counts” Campaign

The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), along with the IATSE, have introduced the “Every Member Counts” fundraising and volunteer program. “Every Member Counts” wants to make union members aware that volunteering and contributions are needed to keep the Fund alive.

The Motion Picture & Television Fund was created in 1921 for the purpose of providing a safety net for those in the industry who need it the most. It is supported by fellow entertainment industry members who have contributed to the Fund, knowing that if they were ever in a tight spot, the MPTF would be there for them too. The MPTF provides an array of services for eligible industry members, including emergency financial assistance, charitable services, social services, retirement living, senior care and services, counseling, childcare and more.

At the “Every Member Counts” launch event on June 15, 2011, the membership of Local 695 was represented by Business Rep James Osburn and Executive Board members Elizabeth Alvarez, Scott Bernard, Dean Striepeke, Peggy Names and Susan Moore-Chong, held at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Wasserman campus in Woodland Hills. Before beginning a tour of the campus, Local 695 projectionist and retired IATSE Gold Card member Frank Fassnacht, a resident at the MPTF facility, spoke to the attendees about how vitally important MPTF services have been to him and to so many others in the motion picture and television industry.

In addition to contributions, volunteerism is another important way to help the Fund. For the past several years, Local 695 boom operator Mark Musella has been volunteering his time at the Motion Picture and Television Home in Woodland Hills as a “pool buddy,” assisting elderly patients getting in and out of the pool and also as a “fitness buddy” in MPTF’s state-of-the-art gym, helping patients who are exercising with weights and the fitness machines. Mark says the youngest people there are in their 80s and are a very interesting and diverse group who have worked in all areas of the television and film industry. Speaking at the launch event, Mark explained that he has developed great relationships with some of the patients, and says, “I get much more back than I give.” (See the text of Mark Musella’s presentation to the right.)

Volunteer opportunities include MPTF Advocate Volunteers, Channel 22 (a closed-circuit resident TV station), Computer Tutors, Rebuilding Together & Home Safe Home Programs, Phone Buddies, Pet Care Program, Friendly Visitors, Grocery Shopper and Pool Buddies/ Fitness Floor Buddies to name just a few. Donations to the MPTF can be made on a one-time basis or as a payroll deduction.

To find out more information about how you can get involved, please visit www.mptvfund.org/ia

Presentation by Mark Musella, Local 695 Boom Operator

My wife Janice and I had been using the health center on the (Woodland Hills) campus for 30-plus years but never had much contact with any of the residents.

When the Saban Center for Health and Wellness opened, we happened in and got a tour of the facility. During our visit a resident using the gym asked, “What are the young people doing here?” We looked around to see what the young people were up to. Turns out it was us (I’m 62, my wife, a year younger). I decided I could hang out there. We both joined the gym and started attending regularly.

We started interacting with the residents, which erased any fears I had of aging. Watching the grace with which the elders live their lives is amazing. Always easy to start a conversation. Just have to ask, “What did you do in the industry?”

An opportunity to volunteer arose. I have been rather fortunate in life and thought, here’s a chance to give something back. We have always supported the fund monetarily, but here was a chance to give some time. I’m still working on the giving part— I have received a heck of a lot more than I have ever given.

I volunteer as a “pool buddy” and “fitness buddy.” Pool buddies accompany those who need a little assistance in the Saban Center pool. 

They arrive in their walkers or wheelchairs. Once in the pool, they are free of their physical constraints and move around unhindered.

My most memorable pool buddy is a guy who is somewhere in his 80s. He was from upstate New York originally. He floats like a cork. I’m a good swimmer but wear a belt in case I have to help someone out of the water. This guy had no belt on and I still had to work to keep up with him as he swam around. Finally, he took a break. Flipped on his back; both hands behind his head all 10 toes sticking out of the water as he floated. Told me as a boy he used to enjoy swimming with his buddies in the quarries in upstate New York. In that moment, I could clearly see him as a kid, not the 80-plus man in front of me.

I’m also a fitness buddy in the state-of-the-art Saban Center gym. I assist people with their workout and on the equipment.

This is where I met Chester Duncan, retired prop master, and member of Local 44. He immediately became my inspiration. If I’m fortunate enough to reach his age, I hope I’m in his condition. Hard to tell his age by looking at him but I learned he was 93. He was a lucid, fit, happy-go-lucky, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. Prided himself on knowing and greeting everyone by name. Everyone knew his name. He lived in the cottages and walked to the Saban daily. We’d have some conversation and workout.

As the years passed, he started to arrive using a walker. A little less workout and more conversation. Eventually, he started arriving on a scooter. As he approached 96, he moved from the cottages to the Frances Goldwyn Lodge—still making the daily trip on his scooter.

As 97 approached, he started to slow down a bit. Debra Greenwood (manager, Aquatic & Fitness Center) put together a workout routine Chester could do in his room. The highlight of my morning was going to his place for morning workout. After awhile, more conversation less workout.

He made his ‘97th birthday but was rapidly declining. I had met his daughter when she had some personal things to take care of and asked if I could spend the morning with him. Of course, I said yes. She was afraid he’d wake up and be alone. (I, too, quite frankly, was concerned he might slip away alone.) I sat with him, he’d wake up for three or four minutes, greet me with “Well. hello there, Mark,” then drift off to wherever he was headed. Never should have been concerned about him being alone either. Not 10 minutes would pass before someone stuck their head in the door to check on him. Staff from the floor, as you would expect; staff from all other parts of the campus, not what you would expect, and various other volunteers. Chester was not alone and was never going to be alone.

He passed away the next morning with his daughter in attendance.

Taught me one last lesson. I had a fear of growing old and being “put in a home.” Motion Picture Home is not “a” home or “the” home. It’s just home.

Easy concept for my IA associates to grasp. We spend our working day watching out for our union brothers and sisters.

The Motion Picture Home is where we look out for our moms and dads.

Healthcare Options


Very low-cost partial coverage for members not currently qualified for the Health Plan
A new program called “Bridge to Health” offers limited healthcare services to members who have not accrued enough hours to qualify for the Motion Picture Health Plan. Available to members and their dependents age 13 and up, office visits cost only $25 and lab services and X-rays are free when performed at the Motion Picture clinics. For complete details and eligibility information, see www.mptvfund.org/page.aspx?pid=528


Full healthcare for members who did not qualify
The Industry Advantage Health Plans offer members the chance to purchase full medical coverage using the doctors and resources of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. For details, see www.mptvfund.org/health-plans

“Health Wheels” takes healthcare on location
“Health Wheels” is a 33-foot mobile health center with two well-equipped private examination rooms and staffed with a doctor and licensed vocational nurse. “Health Wheels” is available to members covered by the Health Plan as well as members participating in the “Bridge to Health” program (see above). To find out where Health Wheels will be next, visit the Health Wheels page at www.mptvfund.org/health-wheels

CSATF Environmental Safety

All Local 695 members must take the A-2 Environmental Safety course by October 31, 2011. This course covers a wide range of subjects, including studio lot & location safety, heat illness, severe weather, disaster/emergency response, environmental awareness, transportation of dangerous goods, electrical safety, and workplace cleanliness.

This is a required course as part of the Safety Pass program. Don’t risk any job opportunities by not completing the A-2 course by October 31. More information and sign-up is at www.csatf.org

2012 Membership Directory

The deadline for submitting information to the 2012 Local 695 Membership Directory is October 2. If you’ve already entered your info, all previously submitted data will remain intact (presuming there has not been a break in your membership status) but please take this opportunity to verify and update as needed. The new edition will be published in December. To update or review your info, go to www.local695.com/mbr/dir-review2.php

Wages Increase 3%

On July 31, 2011, minimum wages on the Local Basic Agreement increased 3%. Rate cards are available at www.local695.com/mbr/contract.php

Union Cards

Local 695 wants to remind you that they are making more set visits, and they will ask to see your union card to verify membership. Please remember to keep your union card with you at work.

Production Tracking Database

Our database helps us protect the contract and protect your job. To enhance its effectiveness, it’s important that you submit your job information now and each time you take a job. www.local695.com/mbr/jobreport.php

Photos from the annual BBQ

Hosted by 695 members Michael (Kriky) Krikorian and Seth Gilbert



In Memoriam

Re-recording Mixer
Jan. 22, 1934 – April 2, 2011

Oct. 24, 1948 – Feb. 7, 2011

Sept. 4, 1925 – Oct. 3, 2010